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Finger Painting at Helium's Cork Creative Health Hub Community Workshops

A Little Story for Christmas

On behalf of all of us here at Helium Arts, we’d like to wish you a Happy Christmas.

We thought this was the perfect opportunity to share one of our favourite stories from our Creative Health Hub community programme, made possible through the kindness of supporters like you.

One young participant living with severe allergies joined the programme hesitant of contact with others. Over the course of six workshops artist Siobhán Clancy developed creative activities that focused on physical contact in a safe environment – “the art of touch”.

One of the earliest activities involved creating paper hands on sticks, which participants used as prosthetics to greet each other, allowing them to build connections while maintaining a safe space. The turning point came in a later session, when everyone played ‘the greeting game’. In the game, one person volunteered to be the greeter, and everyone else could choose which greeting they wanted to perform. They chose waves, fist bumps, high fives, hand shakes, hugs or any other greeting they liked. At first, the young boy did not want to participate, still hesitant to make physical contact with his peers. But he watched on and eventually he joined in, choosing carefully how he would like to be greeted. By the end, something amazing happened: he volunteered to be the greeter! He enthusiastically doled out high fives, fist bumps, and hugs with his fellow participants, fully embracing the bonds he was creating through the sense of touch.

Give the gift of creativity this Christmas…
This Christmas, you can give the gift of creativity so that more children like this boy can come together in a safe environment to build communities, get involved, and bond through creativity.

Will you support children living with illness to live happier, healthier, creative lives?

The Helium Arts Creative Health Hub programme works between hospital clinics, community and online settings and takes an “arts on referral” approach, where families we meet in hospitals have the opportunity to be referred onto our community programme. The Creative Health Hub online programme provides opportunities for those most marginalised by serious medical conditions to connect creatively through an virtual system. Medical cover is provided in all of our community work, so children can participate worry free.